The Challenger tank has been at the core of British armoured strength for more than 30 years, writes Craig Allen

RIGHT: A Challenger 2 stationed with the NATO enhanced Forward Presence battlegroup in Estonia makes light work of a car
BELOW: The Challenger 3 represents a step change in lethality and survivability and will keep Britain at the forefront of modern tank design

In the early 1980s, the Challenger replaced the veteran Chieftain tank; introduced into combat in the first Gulf War of 1990-91, it was an immediate success. Upgraded Challenger 2s later saw action during the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Again, the tank performed well, although the campaign quickly morphed into an insurgency unsuited to the use of heavy armour.

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